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5 Stories From Inspiring Community Causes

The Aviva Community Fund gives people the chance to submit causes close to their heart for funding to make a difference in their community. Five previous fund winners talk about their inspiring projects.

Alzheimer Scotland’s Musical Memories

"Musical Memories is a fun, social singing session, aimed at elderly people, to get people together on a frequent basis to sing their favorite songs from across the decades. We're especially keen to get people out of their homes and into the community, so that they feel a part of something and feel a sense of belonging.

"I knew that there was a lot of research that proves how good music is and singing together is for older people, particularly if they've got memory problems. If you're living alone, it's a long time from week to week not to be talking to anybody, and so the chance to come along to a happy hour, to share a cuppa and share a song makes people feel so much better. The Musical Memory songbook is what we've used the Aviva Community Fund money for, and we couldn't do what we do without them."

Cameron's Coasters

"Our son Cameron died after suffering in silence with depression for seven years. Cameron’s Coasters encourages people to speak up and ask for help, because there is always someone to talk to; we just want people to ask for help and not suffer in silence. We’ve placed over 170,000 coasters, mainly in universities, because Cameron was at university when he died. They're in 33 universities at the moment.
"Securing funding from Aviva has helped us in several ways, and the voting process itself gave us great succour because so many people wanted to vote for us, and then of course the money that came from Aviva also helped us get started. We've heard from other students who felt that the coasters empowered them to get in touch with the wellbeing service. Our motivation was to do anything we could that would avoid other families having to live through the crisis we faced"

Eve Merton's Caravan of Dreams

"This is the Caravan of Dreams which the money from Aviva has allowed us to purchase. We're able to send families here that are going through cancer treatments or bereavement.

"The Caravan of Dreams gives them the opportunity to come away and be together, and not worry about appointments or about recovery, and just spend some quality time with each other where they have to do nothing else but have fun and create memories. You don't realize that you need that break until you're actually away from everything."

Carnkie Village Hall Film Nights

"Carnkie is not terribly accessible. People here can be quite isolated, and over the years, we've lost the shop; we've lost the pubs. People don't necessarily see their neighbors; they don't necessarily know people, so the film nights that we do... It's just bringing people together.

"The hall is really the centre where everybody sits down, and they greet each other with hugs and kisses and they have long conversations. They don't have the opportunity to have those conversations anywhere else.

"Before we had our own equipment, it was quite time-consuming. We would hire a screen, which would take forever to put together, then we'd hire the projector, the Blu-Ray player, and speakers. Having our own equipment has made a huge, huge difference. It's a community: You’re socializing even if you’re only making tea!"

Urban Buzz

"Going back over 10 years, Ley Hill Estate had a bit of a reputation, and the park was considered a bit of a no-go area. Regular fly-tipping and rubbish in the sight, drugs, and a lot of vandalism meant a lot of people were scared about coming to the park. Local residents decided they wanted to play an active role and take back their park and formed a group. They gave up their time and came together to do positive works in the park.

"What we've done with Urban Buzz is select groups that are active within their local open space giving people that understanding about the importance of pollinators. All animals at every level depend on these creatures, including us.

"Local people have been getting involved because they care about their local open space, and that's been the gem with the project. It's been a project about wildlife, but it's really been the people and the community groups that have helped to make it what it is. I think main thing is it's great to feel as though you have making a difference really. We’re starting to make real positive change, and this park is a good example. That positivity has fed down to the community and made a real difference that’ll hopefully continue for many years to come."

The Aviva Community Fund offers people across the UK the chance to submit their project for funding from £1,000 up to £25,000 for an important cause in their community. Do you know a community project that needs funding? Find out more.